Spanish judge overturns ban on display of pro-independence Catalan flag during King's Cup final

Madrid, Spain: A Spanish judge overturned on Friday attempts by local authorities in Madrid to ban displays of Catalan pro-independence flags during the Spanish King's Cup Final match on Sunday.

A court in Madrid upheld the appeal filed by various Catalan associations who had gone to court to request the annulment of the controversial decision to ban the display of the Catalan independence flag.

"In no case has it been proven at this procedural stage that the exhibition of the so-called 'estelada' (pro-indendence flag) can incite violence, racism, xenophobia or any other form of discrimination that violates human dignity," the court said in its ruling.

The prosperous northeastern region of Catalonia has seen rising separatist sentiment following a deep recession and the regional government seeks a split from Spain.

Representational Image. Getty Images

Representational Image. Getty Images

The caretaker government of the centre-right People's Party (PP) has refused to allow the region to hold a referendum on independence from Spain.

As a sign of protest against the initial ban on carrying pro-independence flags into the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Catalan nationalists had initially said they would hand out 10,000 Scottish flags to Barcelona supporters.

They said they had decided not to go ahead with the initiative after the local court's decision.

Spanish officials had said the banning of the white-starred Catalan 'estelada' was part of security measures in the match to be held in Madrid on Sunday between Barcelona and Sevilla football clubs.

n the Catalan flag at the stadium) for operational and security reasons, not political reasons," acting Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said at the weekly press conference

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Updated Date: May 21, 2016 12:20:48 IST

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